There hasn’t been much variety to the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy category in almost a decade. Starting in 2007, Tina Fey’s 30 Rock won the top comedy prize three years in a row, followed by a five-year streak by Modern Family. HBO’s Veep put an end to the Modern Family reign, taking the trophy in three consecutive years. Veep did not air in the eligibility window for the 2018 ceremony, which paved a path for Season 1 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to win. Last year, the excellent Fleabag took top honors, when many predicted Veep would win for its final season.
This year, there’s no Fleabag or Veep. There’s a few returning nominees, as well as a couple first-time series nominees. Hopefully, when the envelope is opened at the end of the night, one fan favorite will hear their named called in the unprecedented virtual Emmy ceremony.
The nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series are:
Curb Your Enthusiasm – HBO
It feels like Larry David’s show has been on for decades, but the HBO comedy is nominated for Season 10, after premiering in 2000. The show takes a few years off between seasons, but Emmy voters keep coming back to the show. They didn’t David in the acting category but made room for the show amongst the field of eight. The Television Academy will sometimes circle back to a show, but if Curb Your Enthusiasm hasn’t claimed a trophy yet, this year will likely not be the year it does.
Dead to Me – Netflix
Kudos to Dead to Me for announcing its third season will be its last. It’s easy to draw out a show when it’s popular, but there truly is only so much more that could be done with Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini’s characters. Netflix’s darky comedy made a much bigger showing this year than last, where it was only nominated for Applegate’s performance. Applegate returns as a nominee, alongside Cardellini, and the show got its first series nomination. Dead to Me is one of the great new shows but maybe it can win for its final season.
The Good Place – NBC
The Good Place is the rare representation of network comedy at the Emmys. The show ended after its fourth season, scoring nominations for Ted Danson and a few of the supporting players, but leaving out star Kristen Bell. The inventive show found its fans but there are no indications Emmy voters are going to check their ballot for the shows final season.
Insecure – HBO
Insecure’s reviews have held steady since its first season and is now being rewarded with its first series nomination. Some, including myself, feel Insecure is starting to show strains, but creator and star Issa Rae continues to be one of the funniest and most charismatic actors on television. As her star deservedly continues to rise, the Television Academy chose to reward her with a top nomination.
The Kominsky Method – Netflix
Netflix’s The Kominsky Method seems like one of those shows Emmy voters love to nominate but never reward. Stars Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin have been nominated for both seasons, as has the series, but they have yet to prove victorious. The second season doesn’t signal voters will decide it’s the shows time to take the series prize.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Prime Video
After winning in its first season, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was passed over for Fleabag’s final season at last year’s Emmys. The beloved show could very well find itself winning again for its third season, which earned 20 nominations. The show is certainly in the hunt for another trophy, in what should be a close race with another nominee.
Schitt’s Creek – Pop TV
There has been so much goodwill thrown at Schitt’s Creek that it’s almost hard to imagine the-little-show-that-could not winning the top prize at this year’s Emmys. The show broke out in a big way once it was added to Netflix’s catalog. Co-creator and star Dan Levy announced the sixth season would be the shows last, which showed immense care and love for a series that was just gaining steam. The series concluded on the perfect note and awarding the show, which earned 15 nominations, up from four last year, would be a perfect way to say goodbye.
What We Do in the Shadows – FX
This is the surprise nomination in this category. With fans that have been very vocal in their support of What We Do in the Shadows, there is a lot of goodwill for Taika Waititi, who just won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Jojo Rabbit, which always helps put eyes on creative’s other projects. Sadly, for the show’s fans, its nomination will remain its prize for this year.
Will Win: Schitt’s Creek
Should Win: Schitt’s Creek
Could Win: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel